Fishing Links

New State Records for Black Crappie & Walleye

(5/21/18) Two new state fishing records were set over the course of one weekend in New York recently, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

Brian Hartman of Alexandria Bay eclipsed the 2009 state record walleye by more than 1.5 pounds when he caught an 18-pound-2-ounce walleye from the St. Lawrence River on May 5 using a swimbait.

On May 6, William Wightman of South Dayton used a black marabou jig to reel in a 4-pound-1-ounce crappie from Lake Flavia in Cattaraugus County, exceeding the 1998 state record by five ounces.

Hartman’s record breaking walleye in St. Lawrence County water was caught on the opening day for walleye season, which runs from the first Saturday in May through March 15. Thanks to DEC’s walleye management efforts, walleye are found in every major watershed and are considered one of the most prized gamefish in New York State. These fish are also highly regarded as one of the best tasting freshwater fish.  

Black crappie, also known as strawberry bass or calico bass, are found throughout the state in clear, quiet lakes, ponds, and rivers where vegetation is abundant. Spring is a popular time of year to fish for crappie, as these fish can be found in large schools in shallow water prior to spawning. Not only are crappie fun to catch, but like walleye, they’re great to eat, too.

Wightman and Hartman submitted details of their winning catches as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, which tracks state record fish. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating the achievement. Three categories make up the program: Catch & Release, Annual Award, and State Record.

Photos of the record fish can be found on the New York State Freshwater Fishing Records page of DEC’s website.

For more information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, go to DEC’s website. Program details and an official entry form can also be found in DEC’s current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.

For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program, call (518) 402-8891 or email


Oswego County Tourism Office Launches New Fishing Blog

(2/24/18) OSWEGO COUNTY – As part of its ongoing program to inform visitors about Oswego County, the County Tourism Office has launched a new fishing blog, “Hotline to Oswego County Fishing.” Authored by Capt. Andy Bliss, the blog will cover Oswego County’s amazing variety of year-round angling opportunities with tips for beginners to experts.

“We’re always looking for new ways to engage readers and drive visitors to Oswego County,” said Dave Turner, director of the County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. “Capt. Andy has worked with many local charter captains and will draw on his experience to share information about fishing Lake Ontario, its tributary streams and nearby waters.”

The first post covers winter steelhead activity on the Oswego and Salmon rivers.

Bliss began guiding customers in 2002 while he was a student attending SUNY Oswego and has developed his skills and passion for fishing into a full-time career as a guide.

Home of the Salmon and Oswego Rivers, and bordering Great Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake, Oswego County is world-famous for its diverse year-round fishing opportunities.

For questions on fishing Lake Ontario and its tributary streams, email Bliss at

DEC: New Tools for Anglers

(8/3/17) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has unveiled two new tools that will help rookie and veteran freshwater anglers alike improve their skills. DEC has developed a new instructional manual entitled “The I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing.” The new manual is part of a series of publications DEC has produced recently designed to get more people involved in the sport of fishing in New York State.

DEC also stocks more than 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in over 309 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,900 miles of streams across the state each spring. To offer a better angling experience, DEC recently collaborated with the Office of Information Technology Services to provide the trout stocking data on the Open NY (http://Data.NY.GOV) website.

The I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing manual can be downloaded at: The guide is composed of nine modules:

  • The Fishes of New York
  • Basic Fishing Tackle and Techniques
  • Care of Your Catch
  • Safe and Responsible Angling
  • Intermediate Fishing Tackle and Techniques
  • The Waters of New York
  • Fisheries Management
  • Aquatic Life
  • Ice Fishing

The beginners’ guide provides important information for those desiring to get started in the sport of fishing while also providing a resource for educators to teach students on fish and the sport of fishing. The manual will also prove helpful to those conducting free fishing events as part of the Governor’s expanded free fishing clinic program. Organizations or groups interested in conducting an event can find instructions and an application form on DEC website at

To give better access to fishing stocking information, DEC collaborated with the Office of Information Technology Services to provide searchable fish stocking data on the Open NY (Data.NY.GOV) website. Previously, the fish stocking information was only available in county listings on the DEC website.

There are two different data sets to choose from:

Current Season Spring Trout Stocking ( contains the current year DEC spring stocking information for “catchable sized” brown, brook and rainbow trout. This data set will be renewed annually in mid-March.

Fish Stocking Lists from 2011 to 2015 ( contains the actual fish stockings by DEC and Essex, Onondaga and Warren counties for all fish species. This data set is particularly useful for people who want to fish in “put-grow-and-take” waters where fish are stocked at a small size and allowed to grow to a size anglers can keep. Now, an angler will be able to look back at the stockings over the past five years in their search for a fishing destination. This data set will be updated in May the year after stocking was completed.

There are also two different ways to view the stocking information. The links above will take you to a spread sheet-like dataset that allows you to filter the data on any of the columns (such as County, Waterbody, Species and size). But you can also search the data with a user interface that allows you to search multiple fields and then use graph features to add additional filters. The links for the user interfaces are:

Current Season Spring Trout Stocking –

Fish Stocking Lists (Actual): Beginning 2011 –

The new stocking data sets will help anglers to plan their fishing trips to take advantage of the plentiful fishing opportunities in New York State.